Over the Hills and Far Away

By: Anne Corke

Apr 14 2015

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Category: Life stories, Ontario, Rural Landscapes

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On a recent trip to southwestern Ontario I was once again struck by the contrast between its flat landscapes and the hills here at home. Prior to moving to Peterborough, I lived in London, the beautiful Forest City. And while it does indeed have many lovely old trees, the nearest hills are in the Embro area about forty kilometres to the northeast. While living in London, I was blissfully unaware that the surrounding countryside resembled nothing so much as a pancake. But then in the 70s, I began to frequent Mosport to attend the Canadian Grand Prix and was taken with the rolling hills and rural countryside. Race weekends, I stayed at the Holiday Inn Peterborough and began to fall in love with the area. I would often remark how wonderful it would be to live here never imagining for a moment that it would come to pass. But then in 1978 an advertisement in the local newspaper set in motion a string of events which would lead me back to Peterborough. At work, my well-liked boss left the company for greener fields and his senior analyst took the reins. While a reasonably proficient analyst, he had neither the background nor the personality for management. His incompetence and his overbearing attitude affected the moral of all his staff and we began to look for jobs elsewhere. Quaker Oats was advertising for a programmer/analyst in the London Free Press. I clipped out the ad to give to one of my colleagues. Although he was interested, he had recently become engaged and his fiancee didn’t want to move so far away from her parents so he suggested that I apply. I hadn’t considered relocating but on a whim, I sent in my resume. I got called for an interview, flew up on a snowy February day on Great Lakes Airlines (aka Great Shakes) and landed the job. As a result of my move to Peterborough, I met and married my soulmate Gary and gave birth to my wonderful son Jeremy. And now thirty seven years later, I cannot imagine living anywhere else. I love the city, not too small, not too big. I love the friendly people. I love the countryside. And I never get tired of gazing at the rolling hills. There used to be a billboard just before the Lindsay exit from highway 115. It read “Wouldn’t you really rather be in Peterborough?” Every time I passed it, I whispered ‘yes’ to myself, ‘I’m home’.

Copyright 2015 Anne Corke

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